Course structure

This Course will develop skills for further learning, as well as skills for life and work.

Learners will acquire and apply operational skills necessary for developing mathematical ideas through symbolic representation and diagrams. They will select and apply mathematical techniques and will develop their understanding of the interdependencies within mathematics. Learners will develop mathematical reasoning skills and will gain experience in making informed decisions. The Course includes the freestanding Unit in Numeracy at SCQF level 4.

Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.

The Course has four Units, totalling 24 SCQF credit points.

Mathematics: Expressions and Formulae

In this Unit, learners will develop the knowledge and skills, appropriate to this level, that involve the representation of ideas in symbolic form and the straightforward manipulation of abstract terms. This will include simplification of expressions and evaluation of formulae covering aspects of algebra and geometry. Learners will apply operational and reasoning skills in contexts, including those taken from life and work.

Mathematics: Relationships

In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge and skills, appropriate to this level, which involve relationships in mathematics. Learners will work with straightforward relationships in algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics. They will develop their skills in solving equations, analysing graphs, making reasoned deductions and predictions. Learners will apply operational and reasoning skills in contexts, including those taken from life and work.


This Unit will allow learners to develop numerical skills in number processes and information handling in order to solve problems and to make informed decisions. These skills will be developed in contexts including those of money, time and measurement.

Mathematics: Added Value Unit

This Unit develops mathematical skills acquired from across the other three Units of the Course for use in more challenging problems, to enable the learner to apply them in unfamiliar situations & sometimes integrated ways. Learners will also be required to demonstrate breadth of learning across the Units. As an aid to meeting these aims, skills in using a calculator will be developed, and a calculator will be permitted to be in part of the assessment strategy.

Conditions of award

To achieve the Mathematics (National 4) Course, learners must pass all of the required Units, including the Added Value Unit. National 4 Courses are not graded 


At most examination levels, pupils are required to have calculators.  The department strongly recommends that all pupils should purchase their own calculator and would suggest that a scientific calculator with the functions sin, cos and tan is appropriate for the National 4 course,